Joseph Mallord William Turner

Haddon Hall from the North-West along the River Wye

?1831

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 63 × 114 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D22194
Turner Bequest CCXXXIX 25

Catalogue entry

As Ian Warrell has noted, this slight sketch, drawn with the sketchbook turned vertically, appears to show Haddon Hall from the north-west1 (the ‘North Front’) along the meandering River Wye; the valley is now wooded. The disk to the right of the house is presumably the sun. There is another drawing, probably also showing Haddon, on the verso (D22195); for others see under folio 24 recto (D22192).
The significance of the locomotive-like shape at the centre of the view, isolated by lines drawn around it on three sides, is unclear; it is comparable to the head-on view of the engine in Turner’s 1844 painting Rain, Steam and Speed – the Great Western Railway (National Gallery, London).2 A railway ran in a tunnel through the Haddon estate only in later years, but Thomas Ardill has suggested that Turner rode on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway as he approached Scotland in 1831, so there may be a connection, assuming the shape is what it appears; see his Introduction to the ‘Scotland 1831’ section of the present catalogue,3 and under folio 12 recto (D22171) for Manchester views in the present book. It seems possible that sketches on folios 16 recto (D22179), 58 verso (D22258) and 85 recto (D22307; Turner Bequest CCXXXIX 84) may show the railway.
1
Ian Warrell, notes from 1993 and later in Tate catalogue files.
2
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, pp.256–7 no.409, pl.414 (colour).
3
See also Thomas Ardill, ‘Turner in Liverpool, 1831’, Turner Society News, no.112, August 2009, p.13.
Technical notes:
Two-thirds of the page has been torn out, leaving an irregular edge which does not affect the small drawing.

Matthew Imms
April 2014

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